At times I’m alarmingly unobservant. A clear example of this would be that despite doing no research prior to my arrival in the Republic of Georgia, a cursory examination of a map would have made obvious the presence of the Caucasus Mountains. Yet, unawareness won the day, which made my eventual discovery of those magnificent mountains all the more magnanimous.
Imagine heading towards Tusayan, Arizona and not knowing what awaited you. My inclination is to believe that while most people have heard of the Grand Canyon, Tusayan isn’t in their geographic lexicon. Now imagine that someone merely told you to go to Tusayan because it was beautiful and gave you no more information, only to arrive and encounter the vast expanse that is the Grand Canyon. Now, the Grand Canyon is awe inspiring in and of itself, but to stumble upon it without warning is the very substance of striking. This is essentially what happened for me with the entire country of Georgia, especially the mountainscapes.
I’m a self-described indoorsman. Many people see a mountain and feel the need to climb to the top or see what’s on the other side. Whereas I’m the type of guy that sees a mountain and says, “Damn, that’s a nice mountain,” and proceeds to sit, look at it and enjoy the view. However, even this indoorsman felt the need to climb these monstrosities that lie before me. Somehow Georgia made me not only feel the need to do so, but I enjoyed every second of it. I proceeded to go on seemingly endless hikes and enjoy every deep breath of mountain air. I did my best to breathe deeply and allow the cold, fresh air to fill my lungs for as long as I possibly could. This feeling was so intoxicating, that I took a 6 hour long (RT) day trip into the mountains on my second to last day in the country just to get one last view of the mountains and breathe in a couple more hours of brisk mountain air.
When it comes to scenery, Georgia is no one trick pony. The small country of less than 5 million people carries a cavalcade of uncompromisingly beautiful places. And for the most part they are largely absent of unsightly additions that tourist destinations typically tout in order to exchange the natural beauty for a pretty profit.
If you love the outdoors then you’d be remiss not to add Georgia to your list of breathtaking places to visit. If you don’t love the outdoors, go to Georgia and you will become someone who does. In short, pack your bags and head to this tiny piece of paradise. You may never want to leave.